Over the past few days, I have been making the argument that this entire Wisconsin situation has been clearly and undeniably demonstrated how little National Democrats and Non-WI Dems care about unions and their base in general. I have been told by "insiders" on this site that I could not be more wrong.
Well, guess what. Democrats have decided to remove all doubt.
"So, we didn't talk about whatever it is they're doing in Wisconsin today," O'Malley reiterated.
"I think most of us see that as distraction, really, from the most important work that we can do, which is creating jobs," he said. "All of us get things done. We're about getting things done. We're not primarily an ideological group of people."
This was in front of the Democratic Governor's conference.
That is the Democratic party folks. But yet, many have said that I am "flat wrong"about Democratic Party support for the protesters in Wisconsin outside of the courageous members of the WI Assembly and Senate.
To which I reply, am I wrong about their silence beyond press releases? Wrong that no National Dem has even thought about taking the workers sides on the benefits question? Wrong that National Democrats are agreeing with Republicans on how teacher's unions are the problem? Wrong that no national Democrat ever goes on tv to argue why teacher's deserve the benefits they negotiated? Wrong that no Democrat is willing to call out people who focus on teacher's unions when the bill is about ALL unions excluding first responders? Wrong that Scott Walker is using the President's talking points about shared sacrifice? Wrong that the President literally lied on the campaign trail?
I would love to be wrong, but I doubt it.
It is real easy to write a press release. It is hard to take a stand. It is hard to make the argument that you actually appreciate union donations in public. It is hard to not give tax cuts to billionaires as opposed to benefit cuts for workers.
What I see is a union that was forced to make major concessions a week into the protests after taking a mass sick leave due to benefits cuts. Let's be clear. Here was the original NYT Headline on this issue.
Angry Demonstrations in Wisconsin as Cuts Loom
And the concessions were due in no small part to the lack of national support for the workers cause. Now, they are left to argue about the final issue on the table to literally save the union. Well played Republicans. (US Senate Dems and the WH could learn a thing about coming to negotiations asking for everything)
Instead of strong support for the worker's position in light of earlier tax cuts by Gov. Walker, WI workers, and all workers for that matter, got a President giving an interview in Wisconsin saying they need to understand some sacrifice is required on their part while giving lip service on collective bargaining. Not exactly a profile in courage. And even with that, the WH has decided they can't afford to make any further statements on the issue.
If that isn't enough, some go further and make the argument that those concessions were a brilliant strategy to put Gov. Walker, on the "defensive".
The appeasement strategy must be listed on page one of the current National Democratic playbook. And unfortunately many of their constituents have bought into the message.
To be fair, I doubt WI Dems any other choice. I don't blame them. They were hung out to dry by National Democrats and the media with this shared sacrifice nonsense. But to pretend that is some type of brilliant political strategy is pretty funny.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the unions said "Oh please National Dems, let us take care of this, your support, PR machine, money, and access are useless to us."
But for some reason, I don't think that is the case.
The good news is at least workers and progressives can finally realize National Democrats don't give a two cents about them unless they are asking for a donation or an election is around the corner. That is indeed a powerful result, but it is a disappointing one.
Fight On Wisconsin Workers. Fight On!!!